Chris Wallace says life at Fox News has become ‘unsustainable’
“Before, I found it was an environment where I could do my job and feel good about my involvement with Fox,” Mr. Wallace said of his time with the network. “And since November 2020, it has become unsustainable, more and more unsustainable over time.”
Still, he acknowledged that some viewers might wonder why he didn’t leave sooner.
“Some people may have drawn the line earlier, or at a different time,” he said, adding, “I think Fox has changed over the last year and a half. But I can definitely relate someone say, “Well, you were a slow learner, Chris.”
Fox News declined to comment.
Mr Wallace said his new CNN+ series, which airs at 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, was inspired by the work of celebrity interviewers like Larry King and Charlie Rose. (His father, “60 Minutes” legend Mike Wallace, hosted his own versatile interview program in the late 1950s, with guests ranging from Henry Kissinger to actress Jean Seberg.)
The entire show is sparse, just Mr. Wallace and a guest seated on either side of a Plexiglas table — a more lit version of Mr. Rose’s long-running PBS format. Mr Wallace said he hoped ‘to have the kind of intimate, thoughtful conversation where we forget we’re in front of a camera in a studio’.
CNN+ marketing materials highlight Mr Wallace alongside young hosts like former NPR host Audie Cornish, chef Alison Roman and actress Eva Longoria. The advanced age of some of his first guests – Ms Collins is 82 and Mr Shatner has just turned 91 – also suggests that Mr Wallace’s program could complement more millennial-oriented dishes.
The service, which costs $6 a month, debuts Tuesday, years after the arrival of streaming rivals like Fox Nation and the CBS News Streaming Network. CNN executives see it as a major effort to gain a foothold with viewers who are ditching cable subscriptions in favor of online alternatives for news.
The stakes are high for CNN, which is undergoing heartbreaking changes. The channel’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is expected to be acquired by Discovery Inc. in the coming weeks. A new president, Chris Licht, takes the helm of CNN after longtime network executive Jeff Zucker resigned in February over an undisclosed relationship with a colleague.